2014 MOU Binding Interest Arbitration Ruling
As you are aware, the Union and Employer have been in recent discussions to resolve the 2014 MOU titled ‘Resolution of Specific Issues in the BCEHS/CUPE Addendum’. The MOU required the parties to meet and discuss the following three issues:
- Schedule A1.01 – Shifts and Related Provisions
- Introduction of Regular Part-time Employees
- Unit Chiefs
The MOU also directed the parties to binding interest arbitration, in the event no agreement was reached on these issues. After a lengthy delay, the parties did begin discussions in November 2016. Members of the Provincial Executive Committee, the full Negotiations Committee and representatives from the Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) formed the Union’s team for these discussions.
After a total of eight meeting days, discussions ended on January 13, 2017. Although the discussions were largely productive, the parties were ultimately unable to reach total agreement on any of the three issues.
In accordance with the MOU, the parties met with Arbitrator Vince Ready on January 18, 2017, for a mediation session. This mediation session ended with the parties making verbal and written submissions to Mr. Ready, for his binding interest arbitration ruling. He has now issued his ruling, which we are sharing with you now in the attached documents.
As can be expected in any interest arbitration, Mr. Ready’s ruling awards some of what the Union was seeking, but also some of what the Employer was seeking. This ruling, and the new Collective Agreement language within it, will have a significant effect on our workplace in the years to come. It is our belief that for the most part, these changes will be positive. We anticipate new opportunities for paramedics and dispatchers, in many areas around the Province, both Full-time and Regular Part-time.
Some key highlights of the award are:
- Full-time shift patterns:
- New flexibility for the Employer to assign agreed upon shift patterns
- Alpha shifts will no longer be restricted to two days, followed by two nights. Alpha patterns could vary, for example, block of days, followed by block of nights.
- Charlie shifts can now end as late as 0300hrs
- Delta shifts no longer must end by 2000hrs
- New shift patterns in which shifts are 7.5 or 8 hours in duration
- The Employer can temporarily adjust a regular employee’s shift start/stop time, up to two hours.
- Expansion of Regular Part-time positions to the emergency fleet:
- Regular Part-time shifts will be between 6 and 12 hours in duration
- Regular Part-time positions will be a minimum of 0.4FTE, based on a 37.5 hour work week
- Regular Part-time employees will receive full benefits, and pro-rated paid vacation and special leaves
- If the Employer intends to convert a Full-time position to Regular Part-time, they must consult the Union
- The number of Full-time positions existing in each specific region today, must be maintained
- There shall be no new standby (Fox) shifts established in the Province
- Existing “Part-time” employee category is re-named to “On-call”.
- Unit Chiefs:
- The Employer can now group, or cluster, rural and single-station urban stations together for the purposes of Unit Chief supervision
- Any proposed clustering of Unit Chiefs must be by mutual agreement between the Union and Employer.
We look forward to working together with the Employer to implement these important changes to our Collective Agreement. With any change will come questions and perhaps some disagreements. The parties are committed to working together to ensure the implementation is as positive as possible for members.
Attached are two documents, which better outline the new language and changes. The first is a ‘Summary of Changes’ document, which explains in more detail each change. The second is the actual binding arbitration, issued by Arbitrator Vince Ready. Click below to download these documents:
After reviewing these documents, if you have any additional questions, please contact your Regional Vice-President.
I would like to take a moment to thank the PEC members, Negotiations Committee and FBA representatives for their many days and hours of work in resolving these issues. These were difficult discussions at times, but I believe in the end they have achieved the best possible outcome for our members.
Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC
CUPE Local 873/873-02